Australian-Indonesian pianist Calvin Abdiel has won third prize in the 2021 Sydney International Online Piano Competition. Born in Java and now based in Sydney, 20-year-old Abdiel was the only Australian pianist to reach this year’s final. He not only took home the George Frederick Boyle Third Prize, but the Nancy Weir Best Australian Pianist Award, and an overseas scholarship to further his career.

Calvin Abdiel

Australian pianist Piers Lane, who is Artistic Director of The Sydney (as the competition is commonly known), described Abdiel as a “phenomenal talent”.

Abdiel is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Music (Performance) degree at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music, studying piano under Natalia Ricci. Previous competition successes led to his orchestral debut with the St Petersburg State Capella Symphony Orchestra and subsequent performances with the Queensland Symphony Orchestra and the Swiss orchestra Les Chambristes. He has also performed in Indonesia, Germany, Denmark and Israel.

For his final recital for The Sydney, he played music by Bach/Busoni, Haydn, Brahms, Rachmaninov, Samuel Barber, and Leopold Godowsky’s Java Suite.

The Ernest Hutcheson First Prize was won by...